Vox populi: Charlie Hebdo tragedy impossible in Belarus as president rules with iron hand

Belsat TV asked the residents of the Belarusian town of Pinsk whether religious-based terrorist attacks may happen in Belarus (English subtitles): 

‘I hope such terrorist attacks never happen in Belarus. Our president is our white hope; he will deter it.’

‘No, everything is calm and stable in Belarus. We, Belarusians, are peaceful people.’

‘I believe such terrorist acts cannot to be committed here, in Belarus, because our president keeps everything under control.’

‘I think it is impossible. But why … To fight against religious zealots, [the traditions of] the Orthodox church, should be taught to young children. Or those of the Roman Catolic church if  they are Roman Catholics.’

‘I don’t think so because our people are compliant.’

‘No, it’s absolutely impossible because all religious denominations live together amicably. Moreover, the Belarusians are not able to place all the blame on Islam, Judaism or another religion due to their tolerance.’


On April 11, 2011 at 17:56 at Kastrychnitskaya metro station a bomb exploded, killing 15 and injuring 387 people. It is noteworthy that president Aliaksandr Lukashenka visited the affected station just hours after the explosion. Accompanied by his youngest son Kolya, he examined the scene where dead bodies and their fragments allegedly remained.

Soon after the prosecution presented charges against two inhabitants of Vitebsk. The death sentences to them were enforced in March, 2012. The guilt of Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou was announced by the Belarusian authorities immediately after their arrest. Soon Dzmitry Kanavalau became a suspect in two other attacks in 2005 in Vitsebsk and 2008 in Minsk though after the latter president Lukashenka claimed that the perpetrator had been arrested.

The death verdict to Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou delivered by the Supreme Court of Belarus on November, 30, 2011 triggered a mixed reaction in society and drew attention to the death penalty issue once again. Dzmitry Kanavalau sentenced to death for organization of the terroristic act in Minsk underground on April, 11, 2011 admitted legality of the judgement and refused to lodge a petition for pardon. As for Uladzislau Kavaliou, he denied his participation in organizing three explosions and stated that in the course of investigation he had incriminated himself and Kanavalau acting under pressure of law enforcement officials.


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